People started talking millions of years ago.
When they invented writing, (and recently, using dictionaries,)
they could look up the meanings of words using a form of artificial
That is, to look up, say, "candle," in the dictionary,
you look at the first letter, 'c,' move to a page where the other
words start with a 'c,' ...
Then you look at the second letter, 'a,' and so forth, narrowing
Finally, you find an entry for "candle," and you read
its meaning, which adds to your understanding of the word.
Meaning is the precursor to understanding, which helps you use
something as a tool.